Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A mathematician and celestial-mechanists reminisces about three UC world-renown astronomers

Ken Meyer (interviewed March 10, 2006 with Dieter Schmidt and again May 7, 2007)
Attended Maderia High School and his last two days were at Cincinnati Country Day School his last 2 years.

Meyer attended Cornell University and finished his bachelor’s degree in engineering physics in 1960. Returning home, he received masters and PhD degrees in mathematics from the University of Cincinnati in 1962 and 1964. He first went to Brown University and then the University of Minnesota, but the Queen City beckoned him to return and in 1972 he came back. This was the same year that I started UC and my brother Doug began his university teaching. My brother had earned all three of his degrees from Case-Western in the area of topological dynamics which is a very abstract form of differential equations.

Meyer knew both PL/1 and C and did teach a few programming courses, but that was not his main interest. In the early 1980s, the Math Department purchased a Symbolics LISP machine which he described as the great boondoggle. He and Dieter Schmidt obtained a DARPA grant at a time when DARPA was investing in Artificial Intelligence research (see the book “The Dream Machine” by Mitchell Waldrop). The grant supported both of them for 2 months over the summer and then the 2nd and 3rd year of the grant they were able to pick up two other people. Unfortunately, this specialized computer never really lived up to its potential so the project was scrapped after the life of the grant. Interesting tidbit of information: became the first .com domain on March 15, 1985 and UC got its domain in 1987.

In the 1970s there was a computer science option for math majors. This was done in part because they could not get a separate name and it required state approval so the option was included. Walt Poplarchek helped set up computer certificate program as a joint venture between the University College and the Math Department. Poplarchek had started out as one of Herget’s graduate students, but it did not work out. Later, Poplarchek was able to earn his master’s degree in mathematics and collaborated on a paper with Andre Deprit. Finally in 1984 a separate Computer Science department was formed and Meyer would teach a class for them one a year.

Persons mentioned
Paul Herget
Meyer was very interested in celestial mechanics and so was quite familiar with the challenges astronomers such Herget had in calculating the orbits of the minor planets. Herget’s office was on the left side of the new hall. Herget was not only a master of the computer, he was a human computer. He was so in tuned with the Friden calculator that he could literally hear the answer. In Meyer’s office was an old Marchant calculator similar to one that Paul Herget had used (the actual Marchant is on display at the Cincinnati Observatory). When he was a student, he had a summer job where he used an electrical version of it. He remembered his days at UC as a grad student in the 1960s when the Math Department located in the Physics Building next to the computer room and Paul Herget’s office.

Herget got involved with space in the mid1950s where he did real time calculations for the Vanguard project. Later he worked on the Mercury manned space flights. NASA would call him up with the initial coordinates of a capsule and he would calculate whether or not the rocket would reach a suitable orbit. NASA would give him data base upon early sightings and then had to wait for a definitive “Go-No Go” for least one orbit around the earth to know for sure if a continuous orbit would happen. It took about 45 minutes to do one loop and about the same amount of time to do one computation.

Andre Deprit
When Meyer started his teaching career at UC in 1972, he remembered seeing Deprit walking across the campus one day. Meyer had met Deprit from a Celestial Mechanist summer program at University of Texas and they shared a mutual acquaintance, Julian Palmore. Palmore earned his PhD from Yale in 1967 and Deprit was his second advisor. Later, Meyer and Palmore worked together at the University of Minnesota and they had authored several papers together.

Meyer helped get Deprit transferred into the Math Department as he was originally hired to work at the observatory, but he and Herget did see eye-to-eye. Deprit started teaching some of their computing courses for them as it was an option for their math students. He was an expert in PL/1, assembler, and a few other languages and was very interested in Mechanized Algebraic Operations (MAO) and computer aided proofs in analysis. Deprit also worked with Schmidt on some early symbolic computation before mathematical software such as Maple or Mathematica existed.

Ken Seidelmann
Meyer was very familiar with Seidelmann’s work and spoke very highly of his. Meyer had gone to a conference in Belgium and ran met a woman who happened to be from Cincinnati. As they began to talk, it turned out that she knew Meyer’s high school girlfriend and her husband was Ken Seidelmann. Even then the world seemed to be a small place.

Bobbie had taken the wood working courses at OCAS (Ohio College of Applied Science) when the college was located downtown in the old Emery building. It was a very good program and had originated from the former Ohio Mechanics Institute (OMI was founded in 1828) which was the predecessor to the College of Applied Science which was eventually merged with the College of Engineering to form the College of Engineering and Applied Science or CEAS.

Chris McCord (email correspondence) -- McCord was serving as acting associate dean for graduate affairs for the College of Arts and Sciences during 2003-2004.

The Right Angle Vol 11 Mathematics Alumni Newsletter Autumn 2003

Monday, February 1, 2016

A liberal arts education from UC well prepared this Bearcat for his career

Jim Selbert (interviewed June 28, 2007)
Woodward High School 1960

An outreach by UC when he was a senior at Woodward sold him on becoming a bearcat. He also liked the campus back then and of course it has changed quite a bit from back then. He was at UC during the time when UC switched from a semester system to the quarter system. He majored in economics which was then located in the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences. Today, it in the Lindner College of Business. In terms of the authors research, the class of 1964 produced a good number of computer pioneers.

His senior year at UC he took a FORTRAN programming course which was offered out of engineering. At first he was a bit apprehensive about the course, but he found the material fascinating. Learning how to make a computer do something had a deep psychological effect on him. He loved it and ended up writing some computer programs as part of his senior thesis. He could not remember who his professor was, possibly Carl Evert, but he does remember how helpful he was. That made all the difference. Students keypunched their programs and then feed them into a card reader to be executed on the IBM 1620 which had only 20K of memory. 

Upon graduation from UC, he was accepted into MIT's Sloan School of Management. That experience proved just as valuable as the program was more of nuts-and-bolts education with enough theory for understanding and lots of practice which included computer programming. He was able to hone his programming skills and learn the nuances of the economics of leasing which became his area of expertise. 

His first job was with Litton Industries where he worked for six years answering to the treasurer. In 1971 he and a professor from UCLA, James Warren, decided to create a small company based upon software they had written for helping with leasing optimization. The product is known today as ABC for Leases. The program was originally written in FORTRAN and ran on a DEC VAX. Through a time-share system, customers would connect to their backend and run the software for a fee. Today, the model is much the same except now it done through their server-farmer located in Santa Barbara, CA. Basically, it is a Software as a Service (SaaS) model that was started well before the term was ever used. Around 2000, most of the system was rewritten in C++ and they added a modeling language, CALC, to it so that customers could build their customized leasing models. 

Besides his real work, he is also director for Direct Relief International which is a nonprofit specializing in emergency preparedness and response. They supply emergency medical equipment and drugs worldwide to areas in need. The CEO is Thomas Tighe who work for the Peace Corps as a general counsel and later as the chief operating officer. 

Not only has the bearcat created a unique piece of software, but has lend his expertise in logistics and organizational leadership in helping those in need at a time of crisis.

UC campus in 1963

Saturday, January 30, 2016

A witness to 42 years of computing at UC and “Where’s the ANY key?”

Ron Flaxmeyer (interviewed February 2, 2008)

Cincinnati Woodward High School grad – 1958
Other Woodward Bulldogs:
Shannon Coffey
Greg Fish
Dave Neblett
Al Scheide
Jim Selbert
Delorise Staples (she actually finished up at Hughes, but she most of her time here)

During Flaxmeyers 42 years at UC, he worked for 4 different “CIOs”: Bob Caster, Jerry York, Robyn Render and Fred Siff. (Note: Fred Siff was the first person to officially hold the title of CIO.) He witness the fast changing computer revolution firsthand which went from the big mainframe batch/noninteractive processing environment with limit access to the computer to small portable and highly interactive computers made for the masses. He started his career programming via plugboards to wire an application to punch-card systems to remote-job entry to interactive computing first via 3270 terminals and later via something called a mouse using a graphical user interface (GUI).

Back the 1950s attending college was not much of an option for the young Flaxmeyer and even if he had considered it, the cost of tuition was too high for his family. Out of high school he worked for a medical company downtown. In 1960s during the Vietnam War he became a member of the Army Reserves. He started working for UC in 1962 in the Machines Record Department and used the unit record equipment for data processing. Bill Meyer and Bob Mays were hired in 1964-65 and they became friends. He started taking courses from UC’s Evening College where he first obtained a certificate on computers and later his bachelor’s degree. Bob Caster was one of his teachers.

Caster encouraged his staff to teach classes at UC in the evening and many of them including Flaxmeyer. He taught for more than 30 years up to the time when the College of Evening and Continuing and Education (CECE) was merged with the College of Applied Science in the early 2000s. (The author became the academic advisor for all IT-related majors from the former CECE during this transition.) He taught RPG, PL/1, PL/M and other courses as well. (Programming Language for Microcomputers was developed by Gary Kildall and so was CPM which was an early operating system used on PCs that almost became the dominate OS instead of DOS on PCs which is a very interesting story itself.)

His computer career actually began during his time at Gibson Greeting Cards. He started working there in the shipping department for $60 a week, but after taking his course at UC he was able to move to the data processing department for $64 a week. He ran the sorter for 8 hours a day. This experience proved valuable for someone without a college degree. He saw an ad in the paper for a job with the City of Cincinnati. He took a test for a Tabulator Operator II and passed and so they contacted him for a job offer. He was interviewed by Harold Crane who later worked for UC as the Personnel Manager at SWORCC. Crane offered a job to Flaxmeyer with either the Cincinnati Police or with UC as UC was a city operated university at that time (UC went state in 1977). His salary was $80/week along with a month vacation. In August of 1962 he began his bearcat career that would last until 2004.

From the Machine Records Department (MRD) to Administrative Computer Services (ACS)
Machine Records Department (MRD) was managed by Kay McHugh when Flaxmeyer started. He mentioned that she later remarried and became Syndor. Eventually, Ralph Haney who was McHugh’s assistant became the director to then be followed by Bob Caster. McHugh reported to the controller Bob Hoefer. When he started MRD was located in the Administration Building, but in 1962 they moved to Beecher Hall in the late spring. Beecher was originally for the UC women and had been recently remodeled. The building included a swimming pool in the basement and a gym up above. The pool was filled in and became the keypunch center where students both took classes on keypunching and other students would type up their programs when it was not being used. The top floor (the gym) became the registrar’s office. (The author remembers going first to Dyer to have his class cards submitted and schedule printed out along with my tuition bill. Then one had to walk over to Beecher and pay the bill at the Registrar’s office.)

It was in 1962 that Flaxmeyer was smitten by a beautiful keypunch operator named Judy. She eventually became his wife. Bill Meyer, a friend of Flaxmeyer, also met his wife there. Meyer became the Associate Director of the Systems Programming and Performance Group during the SWORRC era. Bill Meyer and Bob Mays he remembers were some of the early hires.

Flaxmeyer stated that an IBM 407 accounting machine was first introduced in 1949 and discontinued at the end of 1976. In 1966 the Administrative computing got an IBM 1410 which was the administrations first computer – both the medical college and the main campus had computers several years before. Flaxmeyer was the first computer operator due to his previous work at Gibson and he was given the opportunity to learn programming and that helped his career grow. He first learned RPG and later other programming languages. UC sent him to IBM school to learn RPG so it was a big deal. He found himself dealing more and more with the management side of computing as his career progressed.

Flaxmeyer talked briefly about a quick & dirty one time shot program that he worked one for converting the old accounting system to the newer equipment. When the computer was moved to MSB, Flaxmeyer stayed behind and continued working out of Beecher where his group handled accounting and payroll applications

When PCs began to infiltrate the university, he was moved into user support services. He taught some PC-related classes to administrators and their spouses and on more than one occasion he was get the question “Where’s the ANY key?” as that a fairly common error message back then. Even Homer Simpson got in the act in one of the episodes of the “Simpsons”.

People mentioned
Robert W. Hoefer (1913-1997)
Hoefer graduated from Hughes High School. At UC he majored in engineering and ran track and field thinclads at UC where he exceled in the sprints. In 1933 he ran the 100 yard dash in 10.2 and the 220 yard dash in 22.6 and at the 1934 State AAU Championships, he won the 100 yard dash and was second in the 220 yard dash. In 1935 he was selected by the Engineering Tribunal of the College of Engineering and Commerce as an outstanding senior student. He was also the President of the Student Council, Sigma Sigma Honor Society. He lived in the Clifton area at that time. He began working for UC right after graduation and by 1962 he was the Controller at UC and by 1974 he had been promoted to the Associate Vice President for Management and Finance.

(Thinclads: This was the term used for those who ran track; the earliest usage that the author could find in the Cincinnati Enquirer was 1930 with the last printed being in 1983.)

Don Bruegman (1935-2009)
Bruegman was a Walnut Hills grad (1953). He worked for UC for 25 years and then spent 18 years at Virginia Commonwealth University as the Senior Vice President for Administration. While at UC he worked in Systems Department. He designed the new accounting system at UC. The design was turned over the group of programmers that Flaxmeyer belonged to. In January 1968 edition of the Cincinnati Alumnus, Bruegman wrote an article entitled “UC Plays the Numbers Games”. He describes what an information system is and some of the systems being/already implemented at UC. He states that “the Information System concept (at UC) is just a little over a year old.” (see below for more details.)

(Note: this is the period when Bob Caster oversaw Administrative computing and John Varady oversaw the combined Academic and Medical Computer Centers. At that time UC had an IBM 360/50 which was installed in 1968.)

Paul Herget
Flaxmeyer, as many of those worked in the computer department, found Dr. Herget to be one of the nicest people he ever encountered. He was a brilliant professor, but he would talk to anybody and didn’t care about that person’s background. Herget was very courteous to the people who worked in the computer center. Not all professors were as pleasant as Herget around the computing staff as some of them would openly show their disdain.

UC initiatives
SWORCC (July 1, 1972 – July 1976)
SWORCC grew out of an agreement between UC and Miami University to create a regional computing center which was something the Ohio Board of Regents (OBR) had promoted as way for Ohio universities to have the computing power they needed within a reasonable cost of operation. However, money for this operation soon became an issue and Bob Caster, the director, was able to secure several contracts with the federal government which became a separate division. Caster later left for the University of Connecticut along with Bob Mays and Linda Nanni. Lana Varney (also interviewed for the research) replaced Nanni.

The Contract Division was located at the Vine Street office which was down from the VA Hospital across the street. The building no longer exists and was located where the zoo parking lot is now. He got into that division. It was the outside contract business that allowed SWORCC to grow and offer better service to its members as it helped in offsetting the constant budget cuts. UC got a major Federal contract dealing with the Clean Water Act for the EPA.

Amdahl (the company) began talking with UC about purchasing their computer when there were only 3 were in existence. In 1976 the Amdahl (7th one to come out) computer was installed during a long weekend with a party held sometime afterwards. Alas, the Amdahl was removed by 1992 and IBM moved back in. Parts of the Amdahl computer were put in frames which can still be seen in some of the meeting rooms at the computer center located in the Medical Sciences Building (MSB).

UC Data Warehouse
UC teamed up with Teradata to create UC’s first ever data warehousing – NCR – Mark Young – medical area – administration vs research. Back then mostly companies like Krogers or P&G that had very large databases were using data warehouses. The UC system was used to get information from the student data warehouse. The front-end tool used back the in the early 2000s was BI Query from Hummingbird. The Teradata implementation was not as successful as hoped, but it allowed the UC IT technical personnel to gain some valuable experience which has led to a successful system today. Mark Young’s interview has more detail about this. In his interview, Mike Ehrensberger also talked about this as he was working for Teradata during that time.

Information Systems in place at UC in 1968 as identified by Don Bruegman in his article (2):
Projects as of 1968:
1. An Alumni file containing data for almost fifty thousand former students and alumni.
2. An Active Student file containing the records of up to thirty thousand students, including Day and Evening College students as well as those enrolled at Raymond Walters Branch (now UC Blue Ash).
3. An Admissions file including the names and pertinent data about all students applying for admission.
4. A Financial Aid file which contains data for all students who are receiving scholarship, fellowships, loans, etc.
5. A Payroll file used to pay close to ten thousand faculty, staff, and students each year.
6. A Personnel file which includes pertinent personal data about each member of the faculty and staff.
7. An Accounting file which contains up-to-the-minute financial data for over four thousand budget accounts and two thousand restricted funds.
8. A Construction file which provides valuable data about the financial progress of certain construction projects.
9. A Cash file which gives an investment officer day-to-day bank balances in order that idle cash may be properly invested.
10. A Space file which includes detailed information about the availability and use of space in every building on campus.
11. A Hospital file which includes information concerning patient bills and the inventory of drugs and supplies.

Future projects:
1. Library Information System
2. Student Record Information System related to computerized scheduling of classes and students into classes
3. Job selection and placement for alumni, students, and employers
4. Business and finance
5. Student fee billing
6. Automation of purchasing and accounts payable procedures
7. Inventory control
8. Cost accounting
9. Research accounting
10. Fund raising
11. Hospital system was to be expanded to include patient care records

1. See UC Records Management History – Part Three: Automation and Records Management

2. “UC Plays the Numbers Game”, Don Bruegman, Cincinnati Alumnus, Jan 19, 1969

From Don Bruegman's article found in the 1969 Cincinnati Alumnus. Pictured: Linda Nanni, Al Peters, Control and Scheduling Supervisor and Ray Heinrick, Data Center Tape Librarian.

Simrall Hall was located at the corner of Woodside Place and University Avenue. It was a red-brick Victorian home. In 1900 it was the home of F. L. Emmert. It housed the alumni office. It was eventually torn down to make room for the former Faculty Club and the current Alumni Center. This building had served as a frat house, dorm for foreign students, and the office of the dean of women.

Pictured are Judy Wilhelm, keypunch, Shannon McFarland and David Brown.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A student and later professor remembers some of the analog computers at UC

Al Scheide (interviewed December 29, 2006)
Al grad from Woodward HS along with Dave Neblett and he was in the first 4 year student class of new Woodward which was located in Bond Hill. That building was torn down several years ago and new building was put in its place. Woodward was one of the first public schools in the country and was founded in 1826. In 1906 the school was located in the downtown neighborhood of Pendleton which is next to the Over-the-Rhine area. In 1953 the school was moved to Bond Hill area and in 2011 a new building opened up in its place. The 1906 building housed the School for Creative and Performing Arts and has been recently turned in apartments.

His time at UC
1957-62 BSEE
1962-64 MSEE
1964 Instructor
1972 PhD
Scheide taught at UC until 1980 when he went over to Cincinnati Milacron. He taught the first course in software engineering at UC in 1979.

IBM 1620 computer
In 1962 UC switched from the IBM 650 computer to a more robust computer, IBM 1620. This computer was located in the Physics Building (Braunstein) although Scheide referred to as the math building since the Math Department was moved there at the same time as the IBM 650 was moved there in 1958. When I was a student at UC, the Math Department was located in the Old Chemistry Building. The 650 was not a student friendly computer, but the 1620 afforded some student interaction so courses on programming began to emerge. The 1620 consisted of the CPU and a card reader. He did not remember any type-writer system, but one could edit the program via a card-lister that would print out what was on each card for desk checking. The output was on cards and again students had to feed the cards into the lister to see what the results were. Students were able to program in FORTRAN which was an improvement over coding in SOAP on the 650.

Hybrid analog-digital computing system
In 1961 the electrical department obtained a Donner analog computer and was housed in 209 Swift where the 650 had been placed until the Physics annex was completed. Carl Evert taught the first analog computer classes in 1961 and then following year he taught a digital computer class which Scheide took. These courses were mainly for graduate students; however, Evert did teach a special computer course for electrical engineers during their last semester at UC. The course was not listed as a computer course, but instead they took a special section of the servo-mechanism lab that included a component on computers.

(Note: Carl Ludeke had gotten a grant for the purchase of an analog computer back in 1952. However, not much is known about it in terms of usage or length of time it was used. A quick look at job ads in the Cincinnati Enquirer showed that between 1950 and 1979there was a high demand for engineers who had analog computer experience including GE Evendale. The demand dropped off each decade and by 1980 the need vanished. Another interesting tidbit of information is the Beast Roller Coaster that was built at Kings Island in 1979 was one of the first coasters in the country to use an analog computer monitor the cars on the track. )

Back that time period, digital computers still had some limitations in terms of calculating complex differential equations in real-time so many advanced computing lab environments consisted of both a digital and analog systems that were linked together. Evert and Scheide visited both the University of Minnesota and University of Oregon to learn more about their hybrid systems. They also visited CDC to learn more about the hardware side. In 1968 UC obtained an IBM 1130 and an Applied Dynamics AD4 analog computer thus creating the first analog-digital computer lab on campus. The 1130 had 11K of memory which was doubled to 22K and included a removable disk drive, a card reader, line printer, and teletype system for Input/Output (IO). The hybrid lab was first in Swift Hall on the first floor and later, when Rhodes hall opened around 1970, it was moved to there on the 8th floor. The new lab included a plotter as well.

The hybrid computer lab was highlighted in a News Record article dated Oct 4, 1968. It was financed in part through a 3-year NSF grant totaling $118,200. It was one of the first of its kind in the country and was part of the University Computer Services under John Varady. It was housed in the College of Engineering and Robert Raible was the professor-in-charge and Scheide was his assistant. At the time of the article, UC was just beginning to put in direct phone line connections to the different parts of UC so researchers could access the computer remotely. One of their early remote users was Ralph Scott from the medical college. Scott was a cardiologist who ran the electrocardiography lab and Scheide worked with him doing numerical analysis on electrocardiograms.

Carl Evert
Evert was one of the first faculty members to work with computers before the 650 was ever delivered to UC. He worked on a 650 computer that at Cincinnati Gas & Electric (CG&E which is now part of Duke Energy). Evert was appointed the director of the Academic Computer Center in 1961, but when John Varady arrived in 1967, he went back to teaching. Evert felt that administrative computing should be separate from the academic side as he felt

In the summer of 1961 Evert taught a class on SOAP II programming for the IBM 650 which was mostly to promote the use of the 650 to others on campus. He was also the first one to teach a computer simulation course which taught at the graduate level at the EE department. The course was done in GPSS digital simulation programming language for modeling discrete events.

Clair Hulley
Hulley had developed a set of FORTRAN routines for plotting of data on the 1620. He called it Hulleytran. He was a bit of a workaholic and would work all night to get something right. When the 1620 disappeared from the main campus he would go down to the College of Applied Science (OCAS) campus which was located downtown and use their 1620. The classes he taught were in graphical construction and so plotting was an important part of his work.

Mike Fister
Scheide taught one of the first microprocessor courses. It covered the Intel 4004 and 8008 and later the 8080 and other chip sets. One of his students was Mike Fister and he was a great student. Fister was a grad student at that time and he also taught part of the class. It was this experience that helped get him hired at Intel.

Chemistry Department

One of the remote lines from the hybrid computer lab went to Chemistry building where some of the chemistry professors were doing real-time data analysis of chemical reactions via sensors placed inside the containment vessels. Gary Henderson was the first PhD chemistry student to have completed his dissertation using the hybrid facility which was obtained in 1972. Scheide thought that his PhD advisor was James E. Mark who was a Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Cincinnati. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A computer pioneer from the cover-wagon days

Mel Yudofsky (interviewed January 8, 2008)
Graduated from Hughes (same high school that Arnold Spielberg graduated from) in 1954 and spent one year at UC and then he was with the navy from 1955-59. He came back and spent another year at UC before going to work for UNIVAC for 3 years. Finally, he came back to UC to finish up his degree in math education. He student taught at Walnut Hills High School and found that he just not was cut out as a teacher as he had been bitten by the computer bug. UC hired him full time where he stayed at UC for 15 years. He witnessed a lot of early computing innovations at UC especially, in the medical field.

He grew up primarily in Bond Hill and in 1966 married. He lived in Clifton for 20 years then Anderson Township and retired to Florida. We briefly talked about the Mantis programming language that Cincom had developed as UC looked at buying some Cincom software products. I used that language and taught it while I was at Cincom. It was a great development language for its time and was even ported to the PC environment.

His story based on his email and subsequent interview
Yudofsky began working at UC in Sept 1963 as a student assistant while he was working on my BS in Education. He had done a 4 year stint in the U S Navy as an Electronics Tech and had worked for Remington Rand Univac for 3 years as a customer engineer maintaining a UNIVAC computer at Alcoa Aluminum in Pennsylvania. He then returned to UC to finish the remaining 2 years of my degree; however, because the GI Bill had been discontinued, he needed an income source to help on tuition etc.

Through a friend he was introduced to the director of the Unit Records Department, Kay McHugh, who hired him at the “phenomenal” rate of $1.00/hr. The benefit was that he could work his own hours whenever he had free time to come in before, after and between classes. This predated all computers on campus other than an IBM 1620 (and the IBM 650) which was located in the Physics Building and an analog computer in engineering. This system dated back to 1950 and had not really been updated and certainly not computerized. McHugh was followed by Ralph Haney and then Bob Caster.

At that time there was no administrative computer only some unit record hardware i.e. sorters, collators, printers, accounting machines, and card duplicators. He remembers that sometime prior to his graduation in December 1965 the department obtained an IBM 1410. It was delivered in 1966. Being the only one who had ever worked on any computer, he began to program instead of running those “damned” card machines. It was easier to do and he got more hours while staying at his salary. (He did tell me that his timeline of hardware is vague, but he is pretty that was the correct date.)

After graduating I decided not to teach math and asked to go full time with the Data Center and was accepted. Shortly thereafter the IBM 360 computer line was introduced and we placed one on order - a 360/35 or 360/40. This system was essentially installed and maintained by IBM and he became a programmer on it using COBOL and Assembler language. He also served as the System Programmer doing OS system generations and installing system patches and writing utility subroutines. He was pretty good programmer and he enjoyed the work.

Over the years as the system expanded, one of the tasks that he had was to implement a billing system for the Cincinnati General Hospital called SHAS (Shared Hospital Accounting System) which was not at all successful forcing his group to for all practical purposes totally rewritten. By virtue of the fact that he had some medical center experience when UC merged the Medical Center Computing with the Hospital Computing, he was selected to manage/direct that facility. It was located in Wherry Hall just down from Ralph Buncher's offices. Buncher wrote a lot of letters about a lot of things to a lot of people related to computing at UC as he felt that his group should have had full control over all statistics and any related computer resources. (SHAS was an IBM developed system that came out around 1967. It does not appear to have been particularly successful so it is understandable why Yudofsky’s group had to basically redo the system.)

His first assignment was to rip out the existing medical computer (the IBM 7040 that Ted Sterling had brought in and was installed in 1965) and replace it with a remote batch terminal/printer to UC's central computer (probably an IBM 360/65 by then - 1969). This did not exactly endear him to the medical computer users at the very outset. He hung in there until the entire computing center was moved to the building connecting the newly built hospital to the Medical center. (My guess that was done after John Varady left in 1970 and consolidation of all computing centers occurred under Bob Caster. The reality is that the decision to centralize all services into one larger mainframe made sense for the day. However, medical personal and researchers felt they were losing control of something that was theirs and thus the decision did not sit well with many people.)

The IBM 360 mainframe changed UC’s computing world as it had more capabilities than what  had been available to the university community before. However, eventually, the computer was not able to handle the demand for more time and more processing power so more and more departments in engineering and medicine in particular started bringing in mini-computers with the DEC minis being the most favored.

Yudofsky hired Jim Henry, Amin Shafie, and Maury Bubb. He well remember his interview with Henry which was done in Beecher Hall. Henry knew he was difficult to understand so he asked Yudofsky to be patient with him as they talked. Yudofsky told Henry to as slow as he need and eventually, he was able to understand Henry. He liked him a lot and Henry did not disappoint. Rick Prairie reported to Yudofsky. Prairie had his PhD (in chemistry) and Mel only had his bachelors. At first it was awkward, but eventually they became a team.

Later he was moved into Computer Operations, then into Data Base Administration (without any Data Base Management Systems) he was let go from UC and I finished my career with the Cincinnati Health Department. There a lot of computer people released from UC after the loss of the EPA contract. Although he was upset about being terminated from his job at UC, things worked out OK in the end for this pioneer.

People mentioned and discussed
Paul Herget
Herget was a real gentleman and at top of the list. Herget was one of the biggest defenders of the Administrative Computer Center and he did a lot to help them succeed. Herget would interface between Yudofsky and Hans Jaffe. Herget was not like that. Yudofsky coded in 360 assembler language and so did Herget so they related well together. They gave him space at the medical center so he could continue his computer work. Herget told him that at UC “They can make you retire, but they can’t make you leave.”

Bob Caster was not the most technical person, but his real skill was in his ability to work with not only the administration, but academic personnel as well. His interpersonal skills were excellent and he worked with well with professors such as Alex Fraser and Paul Herget. Caster had a vision what could be done and knew how to motivate people to carry out that vision. He was the person really got computing at UC to go forward.

Hans Jaffe
Jaffe was a brilliant chemist, but a tough nut to crack. He was a difficult person to work with unless you were PhD. Jaffe knew his way around a computer and certainly was helpful. He could be a very modest person at times as well. He resented that fact that Bob Caster was put in charge of all the computing at UC and he was not alone in that thought as both many members of the academic community did not want to have their computing resources controlled solely by the administration.

Alex Fraser
Fraser was a true friend and Yudofsky enjoyed working with him. Fraser and Caster had a great rapport and did a great job of running the computing center. His son Alan also worked at UC in the computer department and almost died in a motorcycle accident. Both Alan and Alex were into the high-speed go-cart racing.

Dr. Bob Riley
Riley was a pioneer in the micro-mini world and ahead of his time in many ways. He was a chain smoker. His first wife was Theresa Riley who taught business education and management in the former University College. Later he married Nancy Lorenzi and they made a very good team. Yudofsky worked for Bob on one of their medical contracts. Riley was also involved in the local Applesiders Users Group. He did in 2003 at age 65.

KayMcHugh (Morgan and later Syndor)
In a Cincinnati Enquirer article (March 2, 1986) about women who work, was highlighted. She said that she was proud to have a hand in helping the computerization of UC. She graduated from St. Ursula Academy in 1938 and started working for UC as a typist in 1940 and retired in 1973. She married William J. Morgan in July 21, 1940 who passed away in 1975. She passed away in July 2000.

Kert Goode
Goode was a close friend of Yudofsky who was the first IBM Systems Analyst assigned to UC. It was his job to guided UC on their transition from the 1400 series computer to the 360 series. He and Goode spent many nights at the IBM headquarters on Victory Pkwy doing the systems generations for the OS operating system prior to the arrival of the computer. This was how members of UC’s computing center learned the new system since there was virtually zero experience to be had on the newly released 360 OS and its various access methods. It was an exciting time for all involved so putting in the extra hours didn’t seem like work.

Ralph Haney
When Yudofsky started at UC in 1963 as a student assistant there was no computer and the facility was known as the "Unit Records Department." There were several card sorters, a match-merge machine, card duplicator machines and one card accounting machine employing a plugboard programming method. At that time the head of Unit-Records was a woman named Kay McHugh and her first assistant was Ralph Haney. Haney was primarily one of the machine operators and was particularly astute with the accounting machine and any other plugboard systems. Haney and Bob Caster worked together at Schendley Distillery. 

When the card punch machines gave way to the IBM 1410 computer McHugh was not able to learn the new technology and so Haney was put in charge. Unfortunately, Haney was not really prepared to direct a computer facility either so it didn't take long for him to be replaced as head by Bob Caster which occurred at the time Varady took over the newly combined academic and medical computing centers in 1966. During his tenure at UC he ended up working at one time or another for almost everyone who he once supervised and he did it without complaint. Haney knew his limitations and worked within them doing any job that he was assigned for which one has to admire him. Haney worked at UC until 1990 after a 30 year career at UC and passed away in 2004.

Alan Ashare
Alan Ashare helped Mel with the automated lexicon left UC and went to Boston and was the medical doctor advisor for the national hockey league. While at UC he was a member of the Medical Computer Advisory Committee. They worked together on an early attempt to automate the Nuclear Medicine daily readouts at UC's Nuclear Medicine Lab which was under the direction of Gene Saenger (called NUMEDACON). It we were largely unsuccessful due to the hardware/software limitations of the time, but it was an experience that brought back fond memories to Yudofsky.

In May 1974, the Nuclear Medicine Automated Lexicon or Numedacon went into production at Cincinnati General Hospital. It had taken four years of work and was funded through a Public Health Services grant which had been granted to Eugene Saenger. Yudofsky did the design work while Bob Laux did the programming. He was one of the best programmers Yudofsky ever worked with. Although it never got very far off the ground, Yudofsky considered its design the masterpiece of his computing career. “It was really beautiful but it did require real time interaction with the mainframe which, at the time, was not something on which one could depend” he said.

The system was designed to deliver a fast, uniform, and efficient method of recording, storing, and retrieving nuclear medicine patient data (1). It was written in CICS PL/1 using ISAM and ran on IBM 3270 terminals. The screen designs were done by Richard Hoops who was a project manager for the Bureau of Radiation Health. The system incorporated a light pen system and was connected to an IBM 3286 printer. Another programmer, Brian Keith, was developing batch processes for handling edits to the system and reporting.

1. “Numedacon”, SWORCC Off Line July 1974
2. “NUMEDACON: Nuclear Medicine Report and Data Storage System”, R.G. Hoops, M.L.
Yudofsky, A.B. Ashare and V.J. Sodd, Proceedings 6th Symposium on Sharing of Computer Programs and
Technology in Nuclear Medicine, 1976
3. “Nuclear medicine patient data reporting and recording system”, Yudofsky, M.L., Anger, R.Y., Wellman, H.N. et al, Computers and quality control in nuclear medicine, April 1978 Volume 8, Issue 2

Paul Perlstein
Perlstein, from the Neonatal Department, developed a process to increase survival rate of preemies called Alcyon. He had a staff of 2 very bright computer people working for him. The system used a mini-computer and was one of the most successful uses of a mini-computer at a time when there was an effort to push everyone onto the mainframe. Part of the reasoning to reduce the number of minis was to reduce the amount support that was needed and duplication of effort. This became juggling act of sorts as more and more minis were being brought in behind their backs.

Alcyon was a computer-controlled incubator system that was developed in the 1971. This system was the subject of the February 1988 Cincinnati Magazine. He is quoted as saying “As technology improved, it became clear that we could use computers to prevent incubators from overheating and overcooling.” (1) It was installed in the intensive care nursery at Cincinnati General Hospital. The immediate result was to greatly reduce the mortality rate of prematurely born babies versus a noncomputer controlled system (2). Babies were placed into an ISOLETTE and the nurses could control the system via a terminal. Based upon output nurses had the ability to make life-support decisions for each individual (3).

1. “Nailing the Biggest Baby Killer”, Linda Pender, Cincinnati Magazine, February 1988
2. “Computer-Assisted Newborn Intensive Care”, Paul H. Perlstein, Neil K. Edwards, Harry D. Atherton, James M. Sutherland, Pediatrics, April 1976, Volume 57 Issue 4
3. “Using Computers In Newborn Intensive Care Settings”, Ann Slone Endo, AJN, American Journal of Nursing, July 1981 Volume 81 Issue 7
4. “Computer-Assisted Environmental Control for Newborns”, Paul H. Perlstein, Neil K. Edwards, Harry D. Atherton, Marcus C. Hermansen, The Use of Computers in Perinatal Medicine, Chapter 21, Pages 363-373, Praeger Publishers, New York, NY, 1982

Mike Moskowitz
Moskowitz was a radiologist who started the first breast cancer detection center at UC. Yudofsky worked with him on developing a patient tracking report system.

Gus Bahr

Bahr was mentioned by several different people that were interviewed. He was a pioneer in developing protocols for radiating cancers and produced some excellent ASCII graphics to show different parts of the body along with the cancer. He worked with Ted Sterling and Harold Perry. He was difficult to work with, but he knew his stuff.

Monday, January 18, 2016

A doctor with a vision for neurology and computers

John Steiner

As word about my research on the computing history got out, I was contacted in late 2006 by Dr. John Steiner a neurologist who had been a faculty member at UC’s College of Medicine for 10 years. He helped me find a couple other people and gave me more information about Andy Zingis. He also knew Walt Poplarchek from when he lived in Pennsylvania. He helped me with his early attempt in finding uses for microcomputers in the neurology field and convincing his colleagues to learn more about PCs and how they could help advance their research.

He did some of his early computing on an Osborne I. He worked with Wordstar .99, which was one of the first word processors and Supercalc, an early spreadsheet, which were bundled together by Sorcim to be used on the CP/M operating system. CP/M was the dominate operating system until Microsoft’s DOS took over. If Gary Kildall’s wife had signed the nondisclosure letter when IBM visited them, it may have been Intergalactic Digital Research that everyone would love to hate. I used Wordstar very briefly and then moved to DisplayWrite, Word Perfect, and finally Word. Supercalc was bought out by CA (Computer Associates). My older brother, Doug, also had an Osborne computer and he used Supercalc. CA is one of the largest software companies in the world; yet, not many people know about them.

Below is a synapsis that he sent me. It has been edited for clarity. Steiner was ahead of the times and many doctors in his field did not understand what he was trying to do with the microcomputers or understand how the software could make their research even better.

A History of Computer Applications in Neurology August 3, 2007 by Dr. John Steiner
Part 1
In April 1982, Paul H. Early, MD-UC 1980 and I presented an adhoc discussion about our efforts to use computers in neurology at the American Academy of Neurology, and we proposed a course in elementary computing. I was planning to enter private practice. He was a medical student who somehow found his way to my lab. Our goal was simply to introduce neurologists to the power of computers before they became known as PCs, and to use our experiences as examples. We eventually sought others who might be later contacted privately, and we were given a five year run on our course. (Note: Early was an addiction specialist.)

In 1976, when I began with computing I was on the medical school campus. I knew that Dr. Sam Shelburne had tested visual-evoked-potentials on a 4K computer. He had left the university, but his equipment was available. Paul helped me transfer it to my lab in MSB in 1977. Software was loaded onto a tape, and we made no progress, as there was no other software. (Samual a Shelburne, Jr; the computer he had was a 4K PDP8/I which was purchased in 1969 through a grant to the Mental Retardation Center at Cincinnati Children's Medical Center. It was used for EEG signal analysis of monkeys one subjected to an optical stimulus. The software was also supplied by DEC and was loaded via paper tape. It had analog and digital input/output capability. The output could go to an oscilloscope or an HP plotter. Dr. McLaurin was the co-investigator. In 1976 he went of Washington, DC as the chair of Neurology Department at Children's National Medical Center and as a professor at George Washington Medical School.)

I already had a DISA, fixed 12-bit 512 byte averager. Its range could be extended by a turn of the dial. I realized that while the intent of that equipment was to amplify sensory nerve action potentials, I could and did measure auditory, somatosensory and visual potentials, but there was no storage for subsequent runs, and one had to print out the results on metallic paper. One could use the machine’s cursor, but it was time-inefficient if a patient was on the table. Most often we measured the paper later with a plastic centimeter-graded ruler, and eventually we calculated the actual time by spreadsheet. (Note: I am not sure what a DISA machine is, but sounds like a kind of analog computer. It was not a digital computer and sounds as if it was limited in what it could do.)

The following summer, Paul built an IMSAI computer in one corner. Concurrently, a grateful patient’s family gave me $12K to purchase equipment. I sought a dedicated machine to stimulate, average, and store all the sensory potentials, but its cost was $48K. We succeeded in z80 Assembler language to create a pattern reversal on a used television, and had to allow for the long delay in alternate flashes, as the screen refresh rate was rostering from top to bottom at a rate much faster than the human critical flicker frequency. We went through several S-100 systems before we found a California Computer System running CP/M. Our goal was to record the potential as well as store it on disc so that it could be compared electronically. (Note: I used an IMSAI 8080 when I taught at Lockland High School my first year.)

Concurrently, Wordstar, a word processor, was available in beta version, for $600, and SuperCalc was available for CP/M systems. I used an ordinary computer terminal to input my ideas, and could store certain information, but I also found Bibliographic Retrieval Services, which made it possible for me to search though the National Library of Medicine’s Medline for patient-related data. My cost was 2¢ for each article listed, and 10¢ for the abstract. I bore the cost myself.

While I could create patterns, and initiate the DISA averager’s sweep, I could not store the averaged patterns. However, I had word processing, which made it unnecessary for me to write reports in long hand, and SuperCalc to record various hand-calculated latencies and amplitudes. I could communicate with a few other physicians on then on Compuserve and I could search the published literature.

Author’s comments
(Steiner talked to quite a few doctors about what he was doing trying to convince them that it was worthwhile for them to adapt the computer as a tool of medicine. He received a lot of pushback which occurs when people are set in their ways. It takes time for people to learn something new, especially something that looks complicated.

Some of the questions he got were:
1. Why would I want to do my own literature search? (Secretary or med students did that.)
2. Why would I want to type my own reports? (Secretary’s job.)
3. Why not use graph paper and pre-lined sheets for data? (That’s the way they had always done it.)

Back in the early 1980s computing at UC was mostly mainframe or mini-computers. Mainframe computing was still mainly batch oriented and doctors had computer experts that were part of the Medical Computer Center. The DEC VAX mini-computer was very popular at UC and found its way into a lot of departments and it also required a trained computer person to write the software needed. What Steiner was proposing was that the doctors themselves do the work as they could get results quicker and could do more What-Ifs. That part was lost on many of the more established medical professionals. For this and other reasons he decided to go into private practice, but his effort to get doctors to see the advantage of using PCs for their work did not entirely stop.)

Part 2
Dr. Nelson Richards (concussion specialist) had spent several years and eventually dissolved his practice as he had spent that time with a $50K billing package. His partners rebelled. He was then President-Elect of the Academy, and we corresponded. It was through him that I petitioned for a course. I was not aware that there were five members of the education committee that attended this adhoc meeting, but I was granted a half-day course. I found Dr. Satyi Satya-Murti, who succeeded in storing evoked potential data, and entered it in his Apple system through a game port. (Note: In 1984 Richards spoke out against boxing and suggested a ban to the sport.)

Dr. Gordon Banks, who earned his PhD in physics before medical school and neurology residency, had written the Michael Reese Stroke Registry. I would deal with simple word processing, spread sheets, and telecommunicaiton at 1200 baud. Paul Early had written a scoring program which combined his visual interpretation of a page of tracing, and an accounting program to do sleep analysis. (The Michael Reese Stroke Registry was presented at the 1983 Computer Applications in Medical Care Symposium. Banks is still practicing and lives in Oregon.)

We presented this before 150 people and for the next four years, presented some of the same material, updated, along with others who had designed their systems. We didn’t intend for people to take our course in computing, because ours was a “how to” - and now that one has seen it, one should do it, and then teach others. Dr. Daniel Levy had written his own program to crunch the data on patients in coma to determine critical survival patterns. Dr. Ernst Rodin had written a program on epilepsy patient monitoring. (Note: Dr. Ernst Rodin was the chief of neurology at the Lafayette Clinic at Wayne State University College of Medicine in Detroit and a somewhat controversial person.)

IBM’s operating system, a knockoff of CP/M was now available. dbase2, followed by Fox base, was now available. We had programs on medical billing, as proprietary systems were exceedingly expensive and many were getting stuck with systems that wouldn’t do a complete job. Gordon Banks and I collaborated on a program to teach brainstem signs in neurology. By then we had hard drives that would contain the enormous amount of 20 megabytes of storage.

I did meet those who were interested and working in the computer field on UC’s campus, but I didn’t know enough to tap much of what they had to give. However, Andy Zingus introduced me to PL-1, and Nancy Lorenzi and her husband, Bob Riley, were leaders behind the scenes at the Osborne Computer Group. (Note: There was an Osborne Computer Group that met on UC’s campus. I researched Andy Zingus and will complete his report later. I interviewed Nancy Lorenzi and her report is on my blog.)

I did present an organizational structure for those who were interested in different application but by then, commercial programs while were available, the Internet did not exist, and while DARPAnet was available to some, it was only limited to universities. Our goal was to introduce technology to neurologists, and they could find their own applications. We could not continue to be experts in all that had become commonly available. After five years, we had done our thing and returned to the farm. (Note: His vision is a reality today.)

John C Steiner MD FAAN
Voluntary Associate Professor of Neurology
Cincinnati’s Medical and Neuroscience History

Sunday, January 17, 2016

A UC grad that got in on the ground floor of what was to become known as big data

Mike Ehrensberger (interviewed July 23, 2007)
St. Xavier grad -- graduated from St X in 1961 same year as Pat Kumpf, Jim Sullivan, and my brother Dave.

In high school Ehrensberger ran track and his senior year he won the 100, 220, and was second in the long jump at the GCL finals which was held at Roger Bacon. At that time not all schools had a track with Oak Hills and the former Trechter Stadium at Central High School (in 1965 it became Courter Technical High School) and is now the location of Cincinnati State campus. The stadium was torn down in 1993 to make room for campus expansion and parking. Today, Roger Bacon no longer has a track while most high schools do. (I ran cross-country and track at Roger Bacon and remember running a few meets at Trechter.) He also knew Bob Ronckers who ran for Elder when he was at St. X. Ehrensberger ran track his freshman year at UC under Tay Baker, but a change to his coop schedule prevented him from continuing after that first year. His daughter, Beth, ran the 2007 Boston in 3:37 which was good enough to place her 7284/20348. In 2007 I ran the Flying Pig Marathon with my son Brian.

UC and coop
At UC he originally started out as an electrical engineering major, but switched after his 3rd year (pre-junior) and went into Industrial Management out of the College of Business Administration graduating in 1967. He stayed one additional year to obtain his MBA spending at total of 7 years at UC. He may have spent a couple extra years at UC, but that time well prepared him for his entire career.

Ehrensberger mostly cooped at Allis-Chalmers which was located in Norwood. They built specialized centrifugal pumps. One of the persons he met while there was Ken Glass who majored in mechanical engineering at UC and had designed a new pump system while cooping at Allis Chalmers. Glass is one of UC’s most noticeably graduates. Ehrensberger had worked at Allis for about 10 years total first as a coop and later as a full time employee. One of the employees, Jim Brady, asked him if he wanted to learn about computers. At the time they had both an IBM 1401 and a 1620. Ehrensberger learned FORTRAN and traveled to Houston to help with work there. Later, Allis-Chalmers got an IBM 360/30 and that is how he met Tom Nies and Tom Richley the founders of Cincom. Cincom was hoping to sell their new database called TOTAL and so he then moved to Cincom.

Ehrensberger was hired at Cincom in 1970 where he was the 17th employee. It was Tom Richley who the one that hired him at Cincom, but it was Nies who showed him the ropes. Ehrensberger had always been more of a technical person, but that all changed when he and Nies flew to Europe to court potential customers. There were very few software companies out there during his time and even fewer US software companies that had European customers. Nies was one of the first to take a software company international he and Nies went to Europe where they visited potential customers in Paris, Rome, and Milan. Their first visit was to a subsidiary of 3M in Paris. Nies did the presenting while Ehrensberger served as the technical sales engineer. In Milan Nies did the first day of presentation, but had Ehrensberger do 4 different calls by himself the second day to see if he could do it on his own. It was a big change for him and a career changing moment. Nies had taken risk with him, but also felt he would be successful and that he was. Ehrensberger eventually transitioned into sales.

One of Ehrensberger’s hires was Dale Potter who later headed up the Mantis group. Mantis was a 4th generation language which I taught while at Cincom. Bob Flynn who wrote the Environ1 product knew Larry Ellison and for a single moment Cincom had the chance to buy Oracle, but that did not happen. He also mentioned Dennis Yablonsky (interviewed Aug 16, 2007) who worked for Thomas Ridge the governor of Pennsylvania. For more information on Cincom see the Computer History Museum Corporate Histories Collection.

While at Cincom Erhensberger presented a paper at the 1977 AFIPS Conference entitled “Data Dictionary: More on the Impossible Dream”. Part of the reason for the words “Impossible Dream” stems from Nies love for the play the Man of La Mancha and the song “The Impossible Dream”. Cincom has the Quixote Club recognizing exemplary employees. He went on to head up the Asia-Pacific region and later Manager of the Applied Systems Division, but a new adventure was beckoning him as a former Cincomer, Walt Muir, helped found a company that revolutionized the computer industry by creating the business analytics industry and Cincinnatians were on the ground floor.

In 1979 Teradata was created by Dr. Jack E. Shemer, Dr. Philip M. Neches, Walter E. Muir, Jerold R. Modes, William P. Worth, and Carroll Reed. Walt Muir had recently left Cincom to help create this startup. Walt Muir ran sale and later professional services (mostly sales) while at Cincom. Ehrensberger was the first person outside of CA to be hired and he was tasked with opening up the the East coast. He started in June and the product release was supposed to by December, but was delayed a bit (a real long bit). The first beta system was shipped to Wells Fargo Bank just in time for Christmas in 1983.

In the meantime Dave Clements created Partner program with partner companies from New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Cincinnati. There were six partner companies in Cincinnati: Armoc Steel, Federated Department Stores, Procter & Gamble, Sencorp, University of Cincinnati, and Western & Southern Insurance Company. This partnership program was very successful and Teradata regularly got 50-60 people to attend their meetings. This was in part because the ideas and technology Teradata was considered revolutionary. At UC both Joe Landwehr and Jerry York were major players in the installation of Teradata technology at UC. Joe Steger was President of the University at the time and did a keynote presentation at one of the early Teradata User Group meetings.

We also talked a bit about Thom Blischok who is famous for creating the diaper and beer urban legend. Blishchok wrote the original business case to retail. Back in the early days of scanners no one was storing information about each transaction. However, Dave Clements was able to convince Bobby Martin who was then the CIO of Walmart the value of being able to learn more about the buying habits of their customers. Martin is now the CEO of Walmart. Clements produced a 15 minutes video entitled “The Path of Progress” that was narrated by E. G. Marshall. It was a short history of computers leading up to parallel processing. (I have a copy of this video. It was produced by Multi-Media Production, Inc. Culver City, CA)

Cincinnati turned out to be a hub for Teradata and P&G was part of that reason and it was Jack Hughes at P&G who made it happen. Hughes came to P&G by the way of General Motors and then GE. Herb Grosch mentions him in his interview as he had worked for Grosch when he ran the GE Evendale Computer Center.

Later, Teradata was bought out by NCR which was then a part of AT&T. Erhensberger took over the public sector for 3 months at Teradata and then left and to start his own company which did BI training. He did training all over the world at most all of majors companies in the world including IBM, HP, and Silicon Graphics.

Walt Muir
Posted by Mike Ehrensberger on Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Walt - One of a kind

All who knew Walt have fond memories of him as a person but he was also a great teacher, leader and mentor. One of the most important lessons he taught me was “don’t burn any bridges”. I was fortunate to meet Walt very early in my career and so he had a major impact on me. Walt, Bob Flynn and I did the east coast seminar circuit for Cincom in the early days. At that time we didn’t measure travel distance between cities in miles but rather in how many bottles of wine we would consume during the journey. And when we finally got back to Cincinnati it was either a meeting at the Blind Lemon or a party in Mt Adams at Walt’s place. Walt’s place was THE rallying point for every out-of town Cincomer, and most in town Cincomers as well. Who knows how many people were recruited into Cincom because of Walt’s enthusiasm and generosity – everybody wanted to be part of TEAM-MUIR. One of my most remembered trips with Walt was our trip to Europe to “inspect” the European offices at Michael Hunt’s request and then to teach a selling class. Mike Hunt even took us to cities like Rome where there was no Cincom office – thanks Michael!!

When Walt left Cincom to go to Teradata in Los Angeles he was kind enough to recruit Dave Clements and then me. The growing Teradata Company needed a rallying point and again all roads led to the Muir house. Sausalito South replaced the Blind Lemon; Manhattan Beach replaced Mt. Adams. Walt never stopped being the leader, the mentor, the friend. Walt and Dave Clements invented a “Partner Program” when Teradata had nothing to sell – but boy did we sell. Walt and Dave recruited top companies in the Partner Program to help us “design” the future of computing. We did the designing at some pretty nice places like Windows-on-the-World in the New York Trade Center. As a sale’s professional Walt was always opening doors. In his life he opened his front door for me many times, he opened his arms, he opened his heart and he opened his wallet. The measure of Walt Muir was his generosity, his caring, and his gentle way. May the Good Lord open the doors of heaven for Walt and reward a man who more than anybody I knew loved his neighbor as himself. Love and goodbye good friend.

Sales Force Systems
Mike Ehrensberger is the CEO of this company and he is based out of Cincinnati.

Other UC Bearcats he mentioned
Ken Glass
Erhensberger met Ken Glass while working at Allis-Chalmers. Glass was on swim team (butterfly) at UC and a descendent of Robert E. Lee and obtained his degree in mechanical engineering in 1963 and a Master of Science in aerospace engineering in 1965. His family was from Ft. Thomas, KY where he attended Highlands High School. He was recognized by the College of Engineering and Applied Science for his work and a video about him can be found on their website.

Ned Lautenbach
Ned Lautenbach (A&S Economics’66) had been a Senior Vice President from IBM and is listed in the New York UC Alumni group as one of their prominent persons. He was an Elder High School graduate. He received his M.B.A. from Harvard University. He was IBM’s top sales manager. He was awarded the William Howard Taft Medal for Notable Achievement in 1997 by UC. His brother Terry (XU) was also a high ranking officer at IBM who was the youngest person (38 years old) to hold the rank of president of IBM’s Data Processing Division. Two other brothers, Dan and Jim, also worked for IBM.

Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly worked at a variety of companies either starting them or helping them mature: Chief Marketing Officer at InsideView, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Quantivo, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Product Strategy of KANA Software, President of Connectify, Executive Vice President of Products at Broadbase Software, Chief Executive Office of Proveer, Director of Product Strategy, Analytic Applications at PeopleSoft, CEO of Kelly Information Systems. Most recently he is the CEO Kissmetrics. At Teradata, he built the analysis for Meijer stores and his brother Jim and Elizabeth also had very successful careers.